In the years since the COVID-19 pandemic began, much has been said about consumers’ evolving expectations and buying habits. Similar trends in purchasing behavior are now driving the wholesale trade industry: like B2C customers, B2B buyers such as retailers are increasingly looking for transparency and a personalized experience from sellers. For wholesalers, these changes underscore the urgency of digital transformation. For distributors of durable and nondurable goods alike, digitization is a fast way to save money and secure market share—both of which are critical in an industry where margins are slim and competition fierce. As these companies look to manage more parts of their business online, many of them will rely on Kubernetes (K8s). First released by Google in 2015, this open-source container orchestrator provides the IT support necessary for optimizing wholesale operations at scale. Let’s take a closer look at how K8s connect warehouses and offices on the hybrid cloud, serves as the basis for a tailored customer experience, and allow wholesalers to assemble and act on business intelligence in real time.
Connecting the warehouse and office on the hybrid cloud
Given that wholesale businesses tend to be spread across several sites, it’s important that employees be able to connect with one another as seamlessly as possible. EnterKubernetes: thanks to its ability to virtualize operating systems across public and private clouds, K8s offers wholesalers a key for unlocking operational connectivity, efficiency, and agility. By choosing this cloud-smart approach, leaders can network team members in the warehouse with those in the back office. Specifically, cloud-native application bundles sidestep the authentication and compatibility issues associated with legacy hardware, meaning that employees can collaborate more quickly with colleagues, suppliers, and subsidiaries from any device or location.Kubernetes also empowers companies to set up APIs and ERPs that run on the hybrid cloud. This provides a 360-degree look into real-time stock levels, a holistic view that makes it possible to reduce cycle times and shipping costs and to stay ahead of shifts in market demand. For all their advantages, though, Kubernetes clusters like these are complex and often difficult to implement. With Diamanti’s Kubernetes platform, industry leaders gain the
Going the extra mile for customers with Kubernetes
ERPs aren’t the only systems that can run on Kubernetes. Other, more customer-facing ones—such as CRMs—are also supported. These kinds of tools are particularly critical for the new B2B ecosystem. Increasingly, today’s buyer prefers personalized, self-serve platforms for their wholesale needs. This dream becomes a reality with Kubernetes and the hybrid cloud, which enable APIs and ERPs to interface with CRPs. Doing so not only gives customers immediate access to accurate stock information but also offers them a one-stop shop for returns and order inquiries.K8s-based systems like these also provide teams with comprehensive information about clients. With this data in hand, members can more effectively keep track of product defects, schedule technician visits, and process service tickets. Or, this same data might point towards the value of implementing new Kubernetes functions, such as automated container deployment that coincides with portal usage. In the end, features like these save time and money on distribution—all while boosting customer loyalty.
Using data to deliver business intelligence
Harnessing the data of integrated wholesale systems is a tall order. This is largely due to the sheer number of sources at play: data is being generated along numerous production points and supply chains, from factory floors to IIoT sensors to customer portals. Diamanti’s Kubernetes platform lets users centralize all of the data from their core systems in one place. Further, the platform’s built-in analytics pipelines allow team leaders to develop real-time insights that fuel growth strategies grounded in customer behavior and demand. In addition to helping support teams retain clients, this also equips marketing departments to identify high-value prospects. Diamanti’s platform also keeps this data safe for wholesalers, their suppliers, and their customers. This protection is vital, particularly given that visibility into delivery metrics, freight costs, or stock trends can serve as linchpins for capturing market share. Driven by these insights, industry decision makers can stay ahead of the wholesale competition by delivering smarter service and better products—all while growing at scale.